Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I heard a song last week that made me openly weep for the future of humanity. A song so awful that my faith in mankind’s ability to persevere was shaken. A song so horrendously offensive to my senses that I would rather assault my genitals with a meat tenderizer than endure another minute of its banal repetition. This is a song so sick-inducingly horrifying that I debated whether I would even link to it in this article.

To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, "I felt a great disturbance in the grammar, as if millions of English teachers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

I’m sure you’re reading this and wondering, “What could possibly be that awful?” I know, I know, just a week or two ago I wrote about the olfactory obsessions of Riskay with my tongue planted firmly in cheek. Could this really be any worse?

Yes. Oh god, yes. The fact that I even have to THINK about this song to write about it is making my stomach do somersaults. I have stared into the eyes of the unspeakable horror known as Soulja Boy, and I will never again be the same.

I can endure bad music. We’re all assaulted with endless mediocrity throughout an average day. Turn on the radio and you’re bound to hear some untalented group of young adults warbling and whining about the Lexus they didn’t get for Christmas, mixed with that flat, high volume buzz that we’ve come to expect since the rise of cd’s. We’ve come to accept auto-tuned vocals and over-produced instrumentation as the apex of musical talent.

If nothing else can be said for “Wuzhannanan”, at least it is not overproduced. Or underproduced. Or produced, for that matter. This song bears none of the hallmarks of what we consider “music” in the traditional sense. It runs so counter to our ideals of music as an abstract that it almost becomes its own entity. A song so devoid of “songness” that it becomes music’s anathema.

Wesley Willis developed a reputation for simple song structures generally composed with what sounded like the “demo” setting of a Casio SK-1. The songs were very much of the verse/chorus/verse variety and used almost identical lyrical foundations. Sing four lines, repeat a chorus, sing four lines, repeat chorus, finish up with praise for Wheaties. At least Willis tried to be original, penning songs based on hundreds of different ideas, such as “Suck a Cheetah's Dick”, “Rock and Roll McDonald’s” and “Casper the Homosexual Friendly Ghost”.

Soulja Boy cannot even seem to follow a structure as simplistic as that. Here is the basis for pretty much EVERY song he has recorded:

• Come up with a hilarious and original concept (Wuzhannanan, Yahh, Crank Dat)
• “Write” a “song” that repeats that phrase ad nauseum
• Throw in some “lyrics” that are barely identifiable as English
• ?

It would be one thing if the lyrics were simply juvenile and sophomoric; we all have our guilty pleasure songs. But Soulja’s lyrics are completely incomprehensible.
Take the title of the song alone: Wuzhannanan. How the hell do you turn “happening” into “hannanan”? Is that supposed to be cute? Ironic? Clever?

Part of me wants to go snatch him off the street, lock him in a dark basement and go all Pygmalion on his ass.

“Repeat after me: The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”
“Da rayn n spayn faw mainy awn da pain.”

Buckwheat would be insulted by this shit. It sets the English language back by almost 200 years.

I’m sure plenty of his “fans” would challenge me to write better music. There are two logical fallacies to be found in that argument, however:

A) His fans would not take the time to read something with as many words as this. Don’t believe me? Go read their defenses of SB on YouTube. I shit you not, somebody came to his defense with “Hey fi u haet this Song so much why do you even listen to it? Didnt ur momma ever say if u dont got nothing mice to say dont say it at all? think about it. i personally love this song i think its awesome. I♥SouljaBoyy.” - For the record, I do NOT have anything “mice” to say about this swill.

B) He doesn’t write music. Soulja Boy’s “music” is the equivalent of the little plastic anus shapes you get with a Play-Doh fun factory. He literally just pushes down on a lever and this excrement slides through the little starfish shaped hole, heaving a moist sausage of amusement into the hungry minds of those seeking his unique blend of entertainment. - For you Soulja Boy fans out there who may not understand metaphor, I just called his music shit.

It is one thing to write garbage like this in the spirit of “clowning”. Even the most serious of artists like to cut loose and have fun every once in awhile. (Remember Mozart’s “Fuckin’ wit da Trick Ho’s”?) But it can easily be argued that Soulja’s songs are written without irony, that these lyrics are meant to be taken at face value and (GASP!) seriously.

Let’s delve a little deeper into his lyrical genius. This is taken directly from YouTube, so I accept no responsibility for mistranslations. (My Rosetta stone was unavailable at the time of this writing.)

How Come You Won't Tell Me What's Hannenin'? (What's Hannenin) [x16]

What's Hannein'? (What's) What's Hannenin? (What's) What's Hannenin? (What's) What's Hannenin (What's)

What's Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin, Hannenin

[Verse 1:]
Man Tell Me What's Really Goin' On. Soulja Boy Up In This This Thang, I'm Ready, What's Hannenin?
And I'm Ready With The Dough, I Gotta Have A Mill Stashed In The Studio, What's Hannenin?

I'm Down, N***A I'm Down, Soulja Boy 2006, It's My Time To Clown.
And I'm Ready, Any Place, Soulja Boy Up In This Thang With My Dj, What's Hannenin?

(What's Hannenin) [x16]

What's Hannenin (Hannenin, Hannenin) [x4]

[Verse 2:]
N***A I'm Down, Down With The Thugs. Soulja Boy Up In This Thang, 6 Inches Past Dubs.
I'm Down With The Crew, Lookin So Clean Everytime I Ride Through, What's Hannenin?

2006, 2006, My Time To Shine, Hit The Block Sittin On 26's.
2006, 2006, My Time To Shine, Hit The Block, What's Hannenin?

(What's Hannenin) [x32]

[Verse 3:]
My Turn, My Turn To Shine. This Year I Swear To God I'm Gonna Put Down.
I'm Gonna Do It Big, Hit The High School Sittin On 26's, What's Hannenin?

Do It Big, I Wanna Do It Big, Do It Big, What's Hannenin?
Do It Big, I Wanna Do It Big, Do It Big, What's Hannenin?

(What's Hannenin) [x16]

What's Hannenin (Hannenin, Hannenin) [Until End]

Did you notice that [x16] appears TWICE and [x32] makes an appearance as well? There are 97 VERIFIED “What’s Hannenin’s” in these lyrics, as well as who knows how many that they didn’t bother to transcribe.

God will probably kill a kitten for this next sentence, but here goes:

The Insane Clown Posse has a greater understanding of structuring a song around a singular phrase than Soulja Boy could ever dream of. (See “Fuck the World” from The Amazing Jeckel Brothers.)

That’s right, you heard me correctly, ICP are master craftsmen of the lyrical trade in comparison to Soulja Boy. That means that Juggalos can actually LOOK DOWN on another set of fans. That’s a bold statement. When ICP can rightfully claim the high road over ANYTHING, you know the world is not far from ending. Is it raining frogs yet?

Why am I spending so much time railing against some flash in the pan songwriter? Because he has sold 908,783 copies of his album as of June 1! Almost a million copies of an album where every song is a one trick pony, fishing for that next big catch phrase so that another zillion copies can be sold. I can only imagine that the majority of his fan base have to wear helmets every day to protect themselves from injury.

Thousands of true artists work their craft without making so much as a dime. They struggle and work hard to produce their art, done only for the sake of creating art. It’s sickening to see a talentless hack come along and “roll in the Benjamins” while those who truly deserve recognition and praise go unseen.

You know, at least KISS doesn’t pretend to be serious about the music. They openly admit they’re only in it for the money. SB seems to honestly believe that he’s making art.

P.S. If you’re actually a fan of Soulja Boy but have problems with my polysyllabic writing, please follow this link to read a translated version of this article.

Peace out, y’all.

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Bonez said...

I can't believe I actually read through this whole post. You definitely have a way of keeping your audiences captivated on some of the most inane topics. Um, that's a compliment, by the way, just in case it doesn't translate well in the written medium. Speaking of translation, I think the Haus der Heittenflauggen translated version was very well done and a much easier, concise and brief way of relating your thoughts.

E said...

I've always been blessed (cursed?) with the need to go into excessive detail over pointless topics. That's why this whole writing thing feels natural.

And the Heittenflauggen piece made me feel dirty to write. :)

Unknown said...

Well played. I also found myself captivated by your post, and read it all the way through. All I can think is...

GOOD CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK?! It makes me glad that I stopped listening to the radio almost 7 years ago.

What will it take for people to realize that this shit, is shit? No, no, no..rather, how do people not know that this is shit? Has society and our culture in general become so infantile and backwards that this shit can be passed as music? Much less hip-hop?

For all intensive purposes, hip-hop is dead (except for all the underground MCs keepin' it real)

E said...

I've never been much of a fan of hip-hop in general, but like any genre there are some standout artists. I have definitely heard some music from that field that I would consider full blown art.

Soulja Boy is nothing more than a manifestation of the power of the end user. Now that the tools are in the peoples' hands to create, everybody and their brother will assume they're awesome.

The problem is that it's obvious the kid has little to no talent. That he is able to sell a million records is horrifying. But perhaps, in the end, it simply is the first sign of a new age of music, something more collaborative and in the hands of the people.

Music has been dead for quite awhile. There's been no sense of musical identity for a long time. I don't know what's next on the horizon, I just hope it's not SB.

Dave Splash said...

Ice-T (a real rapper) has a response to Soulja Boy. It is quite hilarious.

E said...

Thanks for this link, Dave. It was T's original comments that brought all this to my attention. After hearing his comments and watching Soulja's response, I decided to check out his "music". I'll have to agree with Ice-T that SB is damaging hip-hop with the crap that he's created.

Anonymous said...

I have heard a goat giving birth, and that is the sweetest thing ever compared to what the "artist" Soulja Boy could ever even comprehend. E you need to publish this in a news paprer. Peace. Fluff

E said...

Maybe I could submit it to a hip-hop magazine. Just not the ICP fan letter. :)